The English Nun Leoba Begs Boniface’s Prayers For Her Parents, c.733

The nun mentioned here appears later in this volume: see her biography by Rudolf of Fulda. Her mistress Eadburga was the Abbess of Minster in Thanet, as mentioned earlier.

To the most reverend Boniface, dearly beloved in Christ and related to me by kinship, the lowest servant of those who bear the sweet yoke of Christ, wishes for eternal welfare.

I beseech you in your kindliness to be mindful of the past friendship which you formed with my father Dynne long ago in the west country. It is now eight years since he passed from this world, so I beg you not to fail to pray for his soul. I ask you also to remember my mother Aebbe, who, as you are wen aware, is related to you by ties of kinship. She is still alive but suffers from ill health and for many years now has been afflicted with infirmity. I am my parent’s only child, and, though I am not worthy of so great a privilege, I would like to regard you as my brother, for there is no other man in my family in whom I can put my trust as I can in you. I venture to send you this little gift not because it is worthy of your attention but because I wish to remind you of my lowly self, so that, in spite of the distance that separates us, you may not forget me but rather be knit more closely to me in the bond of true affection. This boon particularly I beg of you, beloved brother, that by the help of your prayers I may be shielded from all temptation. Would you also, if you please, correct the homely style of this my letter and send me as a model a few words of your own, for I deeply long to hear them.

The little verses written below have been composed according to the rules of prosody. I made them, not because I imagine myself to have great ability, but because I wished to exercise my budding talents. I hope you will help me with them. I learned how to do it from my mistress Eadburga, who continues with increasing, perseverance in her study of the Scriptures.

Farewell; pray for me; may you enjoy a long life here and a happier life to come.

Arbiter omnipotens, solus qui cuncta creavit,
In regno patris semper qui lumine fulget,
Qua iugiter flagrans sic regnet gloria Christi
Inlesum servet semper te iure perenni.”